Anti-human trafficking taskforce self-evaluates
THE Anti-Human Trafficking Taskforce is evaluating its past decade of work and preparing for its third fiveyear project, which will start in 2017.
“The taskforce will try to find the weakness in the preventive measures we take for suppressing human-trafficking,” Police Lieutenant Colonel Thet Naung said at an Anti-Human Trafficking Day ceremony in Nay Pyi Taw on September 13. “We will also expose the human trafficking committed by locals.”
The laws that govern human-trafficking are currently being updated, Pol Lt Col Thet Naung said.
“We need to take our time updating the laws and by-laws because there are many details,” he said. “If they are not properly addressed, our effort will be for nothing. But it is too early to tell what amendments we will make.”
They hope to submit a draft of the law to parliament before the end of the year, he said.
The taskforce has struggled in gaining cooperation from other ASEAN countries, as well as China, he said.
“We are not satisfied with the outcomes of the work we do with other regional countries,” he said. “We worry about our people but the other countries respond slowly. From our point of view, our people are being trafficked but from their point of view, our people are illegally entering their country, so they make arrests. In cases like this, we cannot do anything but feel dissatisfied.”
Victims of human trafficking who wind up in China, Thailand or Indonesia could be saved and sent home through collaboration with the relevant embassies, said Vice President U Henry Van Thio, who also attended the ceremony.
Another goal for the coming project is to help victims of human trafficking recover.
In the 2015-16 financial year, UNICEF and the anti-trafficking force jointly provided K99.6 million (US$82,000) to assist 708 victims.
Last year, the annual US Trafficking in Persons report downgraded Myanmar to the worst, tier-three ranking on the list for not doing enough to combat the scourge. The report called Myanmar “a source country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and for women and children subjected to sex trafficking”. The fishing industry and armed forces were both particularly cited by the US as being rife with forced labour.
– Translation by Thiri Min Htun